Autogas Incentives in Proposed EPA Standards
NPGA urged the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to include autogas in response to the agencies’ recent joint proposal that would adjust the corporate average fuel economy standards (CAFE) and carbon dioxide emission standards for passenger vehicles and light trucks. The proposal also includes incentive multipliers and credits provided to vehicle manufacturers for the production of alternative fuel vehicles.
EPA and NHTSA withdrew the standard as finalized by the previous administration, which excluded autogas despite NPGA’s outreach to the agencies that precluding autogas was, by default, unfairly picking winners and losers among alternative vehicle fuels. NPGA strongly advocated that the agencies do not similarly exclude autogas from the new proposal.
NPGA noted that autogas is an accessible alternative fuel for passenger vehicles and light duty trucks, and government research continues to progress on new technologies to capitalize on the clean emissions profile and abundant production volume of propane autogas. EPA recognizes propane as a clean, alternative fuel within the Clean Air Act, possessing lower emissions of hydrocarbons than gasoline and significantly less greenhouse gas emissions. Today’s marketplace includes autogas vehicle options and thousands of autogas fueling stations across the country. In fact, installation of propane autogas refueling stations is a fraction of the cost to install traditional or other alternative fuel stations. There are more than 200,000 autogas vehicles on the road in the U.S. including passenger vehicles and light duty trucks manufactured by companies like Ford, Chevrolet, and General Motor Company.
NPGA also highlighted some of the unique safety features of autogas vehicles compared to other fuel options. For example, autogas fuel systems include shut-off valves and other automatic safety devices to protect against fuel line ruptures. Autogas tanks are 20 times more puncture-resistant than gasoline or diesel tanks, which is an especially valuable safeguard for high intensity vehicle operations by police fleets. Today, many law enforcement and national park service vehicles utilize autogas to lower costs as well as reduce environmental impacts.
The proposal by EPA and NHTSA is available here, and NPGA’s arguments for the inclusion of propane autogas are available here. Please direct any questions to Sarah Reboli, Director Regulatory Affairs.